Delilah’s eyes widened as she looked at the woman in front of her. Cassandra’s red hair gleamed. She wore a tight black dress, ripped fishnet tights, and a nose ring. Delilah thought she looked vaguely familiar.
(Did you miss Episode 1?)
“Dude, why didn’t you tell me you’d be in town?” Cassandra asked, coming over and smacking Richard on the back.
“I...uh...didn’t realize it until a few days ago,” Richard said.
“Okay,” Cassandra responded. “That’s...weird. And who is this? Your girlfriend?”
“No!” Delilah said, a bit too loudly. “We just met outside.”
“You just got here and you’ve already picked up a chick?” Cassandra said. “Man, if only we could all be that smooth.”
“So...how do you two know each other?” Delilah asked.
“It’s...complicated,” Richard mumbled.
“Not really,” Cassandra said. “I’m his ex’s sister. We’re kind of like siblings, but not.”
Delilah nodded. “Got it. I think.”
“Look Richard,” Cassandra went on, “It’s good to see you. I would love to go catch up, but I kind of have plans tonight.” She motioned to a woman who was standing against the wall sipping a Moscow Mule. “Do you want to go outside and have a cigarette with me real quick? Then I need to get back to my date.”
Richard nodded, and then looked at Delilah. “I’ll be back in a minute,” he said, “Five minutes, tops.” shrugging apologetically.
Watching them disappear down the stairs, Delilah sighed. So much for being rescued from her night alone. She went to the bar to order another drink. This time, she got a shot of tequila, which she drank immediately. She tried to remember the last time she’d had a shot by herself and couldn’t.
She slid her phone out of her purse and texted Mari. “Met a guy. Just moved here from NY. Also just took a shot of tequila alone.” For some reason, taking that shot alone felt like the most depressing thing that had happened to her in weeks.
Before putting her phone away, she checked the time. She’d been waiting at the bar for 15 minutes already. Suddenly, Delilah knew she didn’t want to be at this bar anymore. The thought of her bed, of her orange tabby, Timothy, curled around her legs, almost made her ache.
Who was she kidding? This was pretty much the worst way to “celebrate” her anniversary.
Delilah pushed her way through the room, down the stairs, and outside. She’d nearly forgotten that Richard would be there smoking until she heard his voice. “I didn’t know what else to do,” he said to Cassandra. Then, “Delilah? Where are you going?”
Richard and Cassandra were leaning against the wall of the building together, and it seemed like they’d been having an intense conversation. Delilah squinted at Cassandra again. For some reason, she felt like she’d met her before.
Pushing her curiosity aside, she said, “It turns out I’m not in the mood to be out tonight after all. It was nice meeting you, Richard. Good luck with your move.”
She kept walking, figuring she’d wait until she got to the next block to call an Uber. She didn’t want to stand there, waiting, with Cassandra and Richard staring at her.
“Wait!” Richard said, following her. “We didn’t even get to dance.”
“That’s okay,” she told Richard. “Maybe another time?”
“Okay,” he said, “Can I get your number?”
Delilah entered her number into his phone, awkwardly waved goodbye, and then waited for the Uber. Alone. Again.
Back home, she kicked off her shoes, peeled off her pantyhose, and opened her Facebook app. If anything would make this night more depressing, it was looking at all of her friends’ shiny, perfect, Facebook curated lives.
Before going to her newsfeed, Delilah decided to do a little digging. Thinking she probably wouldn’t have any way of finding Richard — there were probably millions of Richards from New York — she typed in Cassandra’s name. Maybe she could figure out why she looked so familiar.
She recognized Cassandra’s photo immediately and clicked into her profile, hoping she might find something interesting.
“Holy crap,” she muttered to herself.
Delilah dialed the phone, holding her breath as the phone rang. “Mari,” she said, “You’re not going to believe this.”
(Did you miss Episode 1?)